A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®

Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.

Category Archives: Evangelism

Are You Recklessly Abandoned to the cause of Christ?

There is a book I am yearning recklessly to read and I will not abandon this pursuit. The book Reckless Abandon has been aptly summarised in this blog post from Cripplegate…

PNG-woman“It wasn’t the half-naked woman breastfeeding her baby on one breast that captured my attention. Rather, it was the piglet munching down on the other breast that stunned me into silence.”

So begins David Sitton’s autobiography, and I must say that the tone of that first sentence captures the tenor of the book. Reckless Abandon is a the summary of Sitton’s 35 years as a church planter among unreached people groups in Papua New Guinea, with a few forays into México (and one pit-stop in Minneapolis). The introduction explains that for Christians there is no such thing as a risk, because the worst-case scenario to all of our actions is death (“airmailed to Jesus” is Sitton’s phrase), and the rest of that book demonstrates this kamikaze world view.

 If Jesus is worth more than our lives, then we should be willing to face death to take the gospel to the nations. What would a person’s life look like if they a) actually believed that, and b) actually lived that out? Reckless Abandon provides a good answer to that question. Sitton labors among the most difficult to reach groups in PNG, capitulates home to get a wife, returns to PNG until he gets expelled, then recapitulates to the states to start a lifetime of tourist visas. Reading this book made my passport feel tired.

…Read more!

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The Four Groups Of Cessationists.

In Christian theology, cessationism is the view that the charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as tongues, prophecy and healing, ceased being practiced early on in Church history. Cessationists usually believe the miraculous gifts were given only for the foundation of the Church, during the time between the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, c. AD 33 (see Acts 2) and the fulfillment of God’s purposes in history, usually identified as either the completion of the last book of the New Testament or the death of the last Apostle.Cessationists are divided into four main groups: Read More

Lessons from the conversion of Zaccheus

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preacherFrom a sermon by George Whitefield:
O that the Lord would be pleased to pass by some of you at this time! O that he may call you by his Spirit, and make you a willing people in this day of his power! For I know my calling will not do, unless he, by his efficacious grace, compel you to come in. O that you once felt what it is to receive Jesus Christ into your hearts! You would soon, like Zaccheus, give him everything. You do not love Christ, because you do not know him; you do not come to him, because you do not feel your want of him: you are whole, and not broken hearted; you are not sick, at least not sensible of your sickness; and, therefore, no wonder you do not apply to Jesus Christ, that great, that almighty physician. You do not feel yourselves lost, and therefore do not seek to be found in Christ. O that God would wound you with the sword of his Spirit, and cause his arrows of conviction to stick deep in your hearts!

Isn’t God’s purpose ruined by the unbelief of the masses?

seedMany ask that isn’t God’s purpose in mission and evangelism ruined by unbelief; especially when the gospel is taken to villages and hard hearted people groups who refuse to be receptive and responsive to the message?

It isn’t “The Parable of the Soils” in Matthew 13:1-23, but The Parable of the Sower, as Jesus himself called it (v. 18). The importance of this title is to show that it was Christ’s word, or the gospel, that is sown and that it is His intention to sow seed on the soil (people) who will not believe, as well as on those who would. Jesus is unambiguous. He clarifies that the gospel is able to be understood by a subset of those who hear (“to you it has been granted,” v. 11), “but to them [the rest] it has not been granted.” This surely had a special impact meant for the Jewish audience, as we see by reading Christ’s long quote in Isaiah 6.
The evangelism/mission cause can never be thwarted by the unbelief of the masses who will “keep on hearing but will not understand,” any more than Jesus’ own earthly evangelism was hindered by it. It has always been part of the plan that people will not understand. If a missionary hacks his way through jungle and finds no reception in some villages, it isn’t defeat. …Read More!

William Carey: The Doctrines of Grace in Evangelism

When it comes to missionaries to South East Asia or rather India in particular William Carey, a  shoemaker by trade  is the first name that springs up. Born in England in 1761 he spent an active forty-one years serving the Lord in India, including translating the Scriptures. This was after being heckled,”Young man, sit down: when God pleases to covert the heathen, He will do it without your aid or mine.”

 To know what William believed I will let this excerpt unfold the story:

William Carey’s greatest contribution to the modern missions movement was his trust in the sovereignty of God in missions.  This fueled his zeal to reach the heathen with the gospel.  In his youth, he was told to sit down by an elder brother, a hyper-Calvinist, who told him that when God wanted to reach the heathen He would do it without him or Carey.  Carey’s Calvinism however, his theological understanding of God’s sovereignty and the responsibility of man, would not allow him to either doubt God’s sovereignty or neglect his responsibility. Read More…

Mission to Moyo: Why would some one want to reach Africa’s unreached?

reaching africas unreachedJacob Lee is in a village called Afoji in Moyo district in Northern Uganda. Why would some one leave the comfort of his life in America and take his wife along to a place where there is no electricity or running water? Well, in their own words

Our Mission is to reach Africa’s unreached people groups with the glorious Gospel of Jesus by planting  Christ exalting churches in their midst. Furthermore, we will endeavor to strengthen local churches and their leaders through careful exposition of the Scriptures in word and deed.

We believe the greatest need of every person and of every culture is the clear proclamation of the Gospel! Along with this, we are seeking to ultimately serve the community where we are planted in, near Moyo North Uganda and South Sudan, with practical needs such as a medical/dental clinic, an orphan care center, a christian primary and secondary school for children, and a vocational training center for adults. …Read More!

The degradation of culture due to sin

Excerpt from Crossing cultures in Scripture:Biblical principles in Mission:

Perhaps up to 800 years of Adam’s 930 (Gen 5: 5) were spent watching human culture deteriorate from the perfection that he and Eve once enjoyed. He experienced the heartbreak of a murdered son and of another being a castaway (Gen 4: 15-16). His heart was grieved as he witnessed his descendants sliding deeper into a culture of “sexual immorality, impurity , sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies” (Gal 5: 19-21). What a contrast to that perfect pre-sin wholesome culture of “love, joy, peace , patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal 5: 22-23)!

It is therefore no wonder that when one preaches the gospel to the ultra modern millenial or the most savage unreached tribe and they come to a realisation of their helpless state, both are anxious to free themselves from their degraded cultural practices. The light of the gospel brings them hope.
Oh how wonderful it is to hear that even though we like sheep have gone astray, each one in his own way -the Lord has laid on Christ the iniquity of us all. 

Amen!

Ye Are The Salt!—Not Sugar Candy

By Charles Spurgeon

An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most shortsighted can hardly fail to notice it during the past few years. It has developed at an abnormal rate, even for evil. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments. The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them. Read More

People never reject the Bible because they don’t understand it…. Au Contraire!

Stoning-of-Stephen2“Be very sure of this–people never reject the Bible because they cannot understand it. They understand it too well; they understand that it condemns their own behavior; they understand that it witnesses against their own sins, and summons them to judgment. They try to believe it is false and useless, because they don’t like to believe it is true. An evil lifestyle must always raise an objection to this book. Men question the truth of Christianity because they hate the practice of it.” – J. C. Ryle

#SIN awareness day

2014-07-06 13.56.32A lone street preacher calls on the crowd with a message. This is one of the most stirring photos I have seen in a long while…

Bruising is required before conversion

hopeQuoting Richard Sibbes:

This bruising is required before conversion that so the Spirit may make way for himself into the heart by leveling all proud, high thoughts, and that we may understand ourselves to be what indeed we are by nature. We love to wander from ourselves and to be strangers at home, till God bruises us by one cross or other, and then we `begin to think’, and come home to ourselves with the prodigal (Luke 15:17). It is a very hard thing to bring a dull and an evasive heart to cry with feeling for mercy. Our hearts, like criminals, until they be beaten from all evasions, never cry for the mercy of the judge. …Read More!

Adonirom Judson’s letter to his prospective father in law Mr Hasseltine.

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Adoniram Judson, Jr. (August 9, 1788 – April 12, 1850) was the first Protestant missionary sent from North America to preach in Burma. Judson is remembered as the first significant missionary in Burma, as well as one of the very first missionaries from America to travel overseas. The story of his biography has touched many people, however I will just dig into a small bit here and it’s his letter to his prospective father in law shines some light into the kind of person he was and his passion for missions and evangelism of the dangerous heathen lands:

“I have now to ask whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world ? Whether you can consent to her departure to a heathen land, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of a missionary life? Whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean; to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death? Can you consent to all this, for the sake of Him who left His heavenly home and died for her and for you; for the sake of perishing, immortal souls; for the sake of Zion and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with a crown of righteousness brightened by the acclamations of praise which shall resound to her Saviour from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?”

HT J.D Greer

Adoniram Judson ended up spending his missionary career not in India, but in Burma. During his thirty-seven years of service there, he persevered through seventeen months of brutal imprisonment, several bouts of life-threatening illness, and the death of two wives and six children. He succeeded in translating the Bible into Burmese and compiling an English-Burmese dictionary. He waited six years for his first Burmese convert, but by the time of his death in 1850, there were a hundred Burmese churches and over 8,000 Burmese Christians. A very readable biography, To the Golden Shore by Courtney Anderson, recounts the epic story of his remarkable life.

How do I get our church to focus on evangelism rather than entertainment?

outreach-ideasWell, by the time you ask your self that kind of question its very likely you may be in the wrong kind of church or your church has probably missed the point and gone off with the wrong priorities. That being said, it is always a good thing to start thinking about evangelism and having a desire to see others come to a true knowledge of Christ through the gospel. The gospel rightly should be the beginning place for every evangelistic endeavor or discipleship program. In this day and age where churches have resorted to hiring ‘church growth’ gurus to bring about astronomical increase in numbers (with no love for the things of God or commitment) it’s quite encouraging to come across pastors who are keen on evangelism and biblical discipleship.

Missionary and church planter David Cloud (together with his wife Linda) have got a free ebook called Ideas for Evangelism (see free download link below) that is a fruit of collective effort gleaned from many sources as well as from their more than 40 years missionary experiences. They have been church planters, ministered on bus routes, in jails, taught Sunday School classes, witnessed on military bases and university campuses, nursing homes and gladly and humbly tackle several issues in  Ideas for Evangelism. This book is for people and churches that feel ‘stuck in a rut’ with their gospel outreach and feel they need to – prove all things; hold fast to that which is good in a bid to uphold a biblical standard in their worship and practice. …Read More!

God and our tears – He sees our tears!

The Lord Jesus sees our tears, he has compassion on us and says to us: “Do not weep”! Excerpt from Reformation Italy:

godseesour-tears

Living on a ground full of thorns and thistles because of sin (Genesis 3:17-19), every day many people are living and sowing “weeping” (Psalm 126:6). Every day people shed many tears: the child who is hurt; the teenager in crisis; the young woman distressed; the frustrated adult; the husband who loses his job; the mistreated wife; children with absent parents; the elderly abandoned and alone… Every day there are those who feel like the Psalmist, calling upon God, saying: “My life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing” (Psalm 31:10). Let us pause to think: in the present evil age, in front of the power of death, pain and unbelief that seized humankind, even Jesus – the Son of God – “wept” (John 11:35).

…Read More!

What is the greatest gospel transformation you have ever seen?

This was a question posed to Missionary David Sitton who went to Papua New Guinea at the age of 22 to preach to tribes of cannibals. Listen to his answer…

HT To Every Tribe Ministries

How do the deaf hear the gospel?

That is a good question to ask a lady called Jean. I have had a really wonderful evening hearing of the missions work among the deaf in Austria. I must say any day I hear of God’s glorious works in the salvation of any soul I am always intrigued and amazed. This time I was glad to hear of how the gospel is spreading among the deaf in Klagenfurt, Austria. Jean Ellis has given over thirty years of her life to work in Austria.  Her ministry in affiliation with Grace Baptist Mission (GBM) has almost been exclusively among the deaf and their families. By God’s grace some have come to repentance and faith in Christ and by the grace of God the number of deaf believers is growing who are now led  by local sign language using pastors grounded in sound Biblical teaching. The work in Austria has been blessed with conversions and even baptisms.

The work among the deaf:

There have been many challenges in the work; part of the challenges were to translate the Bible into Austrian sign language, prayers of the leaders and new believers. Much prayer is still needed for missionaries to this community group (as well as to many missionaries to deaf people around the world). More missionaries are needed to special needs people whether deaf, blind or mute. Why? Because we as believers have an obligation and a commission from the Lord to spread the gospel. Besides…

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? [Rom 10:14]

May God send workers in to the harvest. May the Lord equip the workers for the harvest. May the glory go to Him alone.British sign language letter A

13 Signs You Could Be A Christian Nomad

My favourite law enforcer and (yes) street evangelist has a very interesting post on a common finding these days -Christian nomadism….(I love sign number 7)

Nomadism is a growing problem within the Body of Christ and has infected the biblical evangelism community. Nomadism is a serious problem among not only young and immature believers, but also older more mature believers, and as well as some who are well-known in the biblical evangelism community.

The following list of symptoms is in no way whatsoever intended to be a tongue-in-cheek or flippant offering. Nothing about this subject is a laughing matter. The list first appeared on Twitter and some have asked me to compile the list in the form of a blog article.  So, here it is. …Read More!

Ecce Homo: Behold The Man!

It’s about two thousand years since Pilate said, “Ecce homo” (behold the man). How  easily we forget that God was among us (Emmanuel). How easily we forget that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

How easily we let our focus shift to material give aways and easter eggs. What if we beheld the crucifixion of Jesus and remembered that:

Death by crucifixion was agonizingly slow, and came about by suffocation. A medical expert on crucifixion describes the physical effects that Jesus would have endured while nailed to a cross,

“As the arms fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over the muscles . . . With these cramps comes the inability to push Himself upward. Hanging by His arms, the pectoral muscles are paralyzed . . . Air can be drawn into the lungs, but cannot be exhaled. Jesus fights to raise Himself in order to get even one short breath. Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream and the cramps partially subside. Spasmodically He is able to push Himself upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen.” (The Crucifixion of Jesus: The Passion of Christ from a Medical Point of View, Arizona Medicine, vol. 22, no. 3 (March 1965), 183-187).

This process would continue for hours until all strength in the legs is gone, and Jesus is no longer able to push up in order to breathe.

Aside from the physical pain of crucifixion, there was also the stigma of disgrace and humiliation that was attached to it. Victims were beaten, whipped, and taunted even before reaching the cross. They were usually hanged naked, made a spectacle of shame for all to see. Read More…

Breakthrough: The documentary of Missionary James O. Fraser and the Lisu people

Above is a trailer of documentary of James Fraser:

James Fraser was only 22 years old when he left his engineering career and went to China. From the very first time he saw the Lisu tribespeople of Yunnan Province, he was filled with God’s love for them. He spent the rest of his life laboring to bring them the gospel. Breakthrough came only after his partners back home took up the challenge to pray. …Read More!

The God whom you worship… irreverently

church-cross“Remember the perfections of that God whom you worship, that he is a Spirit, and therefore to be worshipped in spirit and truth; and that he is most great and terrible, and therefore to be worshipped with seriousness and reverence, and not to be dallied with, or served with toys or lifeless lip-service; and that he is most holy, pure, and jealous, and therefore to be purely worshipped; and that he is still present with you, and all things are naked and open to him with whom we have to do. The knowledge of God, and the remembrance of his all-seeing presence, are the most powerful means against hypocrisy.”
― Richard Baxter

7 tips on starting out in ministry

starting-out-in-ministryA few words of encouragement from a man who has seen many days go by.  So, when Jim Sayers stops to give you a few tips on starting out in ministry then you had better take notes.

Here are seven of Jim’s fifteen tips for starting well as a pastor:

  1. Preach within your range. The Bible is like a mountain range, and some peaks are a lot higher than others, so don’t set out to preach beyond your capabilities. We grow into the task of preaching, so don’t set out to preach through revelation as your first series, or John 14-17 or 2 Cor. 10-13. (I tried the latter, and am still scarred by the experience.) Preach what your congregation needs to hear most, and what you can make clear and apply well. Your preaching will reach first class standard after about five years, and test match standard….maybe! meantime, know your limits. John Chapman says ‘Preaching’s not that hard. It’s just the first forty years that’s the worst!’ After twenty four years I am starting to appreciate that quip more and more.
  1. Make a preaching plan for your first few years that takes you to a different genre of Scripture in each ‘term’ of the year. I watched my pastor in Abingdon, Simon Hutton, do this in his early years in Abingdon, and it is a great plan (which had never occurred to me). So we had Exodus 1-15, Colossians, some of Mark, Job (the best early series), Amos and Micah, and so on. As he tackled each series, so he became used to handling that Scripture genre ready for whenever he handled a similar book in future. See your early years in preaching as developing your skills gradually.

…Read More!

And sinners, plunged beneath that flood…

saving drowning manOh how the words of some hymns just linger in the recesses of your mind and nourish you with rich spiritual truths. Today I will feature the first two verses and the last verse of William Cowper’s hymn ‘There is a fountain filled with blood’

There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains…

The dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in his day;
And there may I, though vile as he,
Wash all my sins away… …Read More!

Jesus: He lived among us

It’s not that often that I recommend a movie on the life of Jesus but this link was sent to me by an old friend and I must say it is evangelistic as well as interesting both for adults and children. The story goes through the gospel as told by the Apostle John on the isle of Patmos (see below for further info):

…Continue here for further links!!!

“Do not linger!” by J.C. Ryle

“‘He lingered.’ (Genesis 19:16) Do not be a lingering soul.

20120724-094345.jpgWould you know what the times demand?—The shaking of nations,—the uprooting of ancient things,—the overturning of kingdoms,—the stir and restlessness of men’s minds—what do they say? They all cry aloud,—Christian! do not linger!

Would you be found ready for Christ at His second appearing,—your loins girded,—your lamp burning. yourself bold, and prepared to meet Him? Then do not linger!

Would you enjoy much sensible comfort in your religion,—feel the witness of the Spirit within you,—know whom you have believed,—and not be a gloomy, complaining, sour, downcast, and melancholy Christian? Then do not linger! …Read More!

7 Ways to Teach Missions to Kids

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn this day and age when kids think being a missionary and going into all the world is dressing up like an Avenger or Captain America or one of those Marvel comic characters and busting a few skulls in the process makes you realise there’s a whole lot of teaching to be unlearned and re-learned the right way.

Needless to say Scripture is clear when it explains God’s desire for his church to participate in global evangelism (Matt 28:18-20, Acts 1:8) and take the good news of the gospel to the ends of the world. Scripture is equally clear in explaining God’s desire for his people to train up their children in his ways (Deut 11:18–21, 32:46, Prov 22:6; Isa 38:19; Eph 6:4; 2 Tim 1:5, 3:14–15).

Mike Pettengill has written an article on how to engage the youth from an early age to understand missions. For the expansion of Christ’s kingdom, it is vital that the youth in our churches be taught about God’s passion for the lost and that he desires his disciples to reach out to non-believers and teach them about the grace and mercy of Christ.

Here are  seven ways (adapted from Mike) on how your church can reach the kids of your congregation and teach them about the importance of world missions:

1. Study Missionary Biographies

In your children’s church and youth groups, include a series of stories about the great missionaries of the past. Tell your kids about the incredible missionaries who have served in the name of the Lord. Revere the martyrs and laborers who sacrificed for God. Let the youth see how these great servants were not super-Christians, but simply obedient Christians. Have the youth study, write, and report on their favorite missionaries of today and the past.

2. Video Conference With Missionaries

Help the children of your church get to know missionaries by asking missionaries to use video conferencing technology to talk directly to your Sunday school or VBS classes. Take a few minutes to interview the missionaries and their kids and let the kids of your church ask questions that interest them. Help your youth to get to know the missionaries your church is supporting and praying for. Allow the kids to learn missionaries are normal people just like they are.

3. Study Biblical Missions

Make concerted efforts to regularly study what Scripture says about the relationship between the church and missions. Help your youth understand missions and evangelism are central themes throughout the Bible. Train the kids of your church to see missions was on the heart of God from the beginning of time and that it is a command every church is to follow. Learn about biblical missionaries like Abraham, Jonah and Paul and study how God used average disciples to accomplish amazing things. …Read More!

Thriving church found in jungle 84 years after missionary died feeling a failure

Yansi-crossing-riverIn 1912, medical missionary Dr. William Leslie went to live and minister to tribal people in a remote corner of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. After 17 years he returned to the U.S. a discouraged man – believing he failed to make an impact for Christ. He died nine years after his return.

But in 2010, a team led by Eric Ramsey with Tom Cox World Ministries made a shocking and sensational discovery. They found a network of reproducing churches hidden like glittering diamonds in the dense jungle across the Kwilu River from Vanga, where Dr. Leslie was stationed.

With the help of a Mission Aviation Fellowship pilot, Ramsey and his team flew east from Kinshasa to Vanga, a two and a half hour flight in a Cessna Caravan. After they reached Vanga, they hiked a mile to the Kwilu River and used dugout canoes to cross the half-mile-wide expanse. Then they hiked with backpacks another 10 miles into the jungle before they reached the first village of the Yansi people.

Based on his previous research, Ramsey thought the Yansi in this remote area might have some exposure to the name of Jesus, but no real understanding of who He is. They were unprepared for their remarkable find. …Read More!

“A village church with a village God”

whale pod sculpture 5

Quoting John Stott:

“I remember some years ago visiting a church incognito. I sat in the back row. I wonder who’s in the back row tonight.

You know they often slip in there incognito. I’m not going to tell you the church. You won’t be able to identify it; it’s thousands of miles away from here.

When we came to the pastoral prayer, it was led by a lay brother, because the pastor was on holiday. So he prayed that the pastor might have a good holiday. Well, that’s fine. Pastors should have good holidays.

…Read More!

Hurrying To Hear George Whitefield Preach The Gospel

This is the true account of Nathan Cole describing the moment he heard that the gospel was coming to Connecticut. George Whitefield was the preacher -as fields were emptied, people converged eagerly to listen with bated breaths.

“Now it pleased God to send Mr. Whitefield into this land; and my hearing of his preaching at Philadelphia, like one of the Old apostles, and many thousands flocking to hear him preach the Gospel, and great numbers were converted to Christ; I felt the Spirit of God drawing me by conviction, longed to see and hear him, and wished he would come this way. And I soon heard he was come to New York and the Jerseys and great multitudes flocking after him under great concern for their Souls and many converted which brought on my concern more and more hoping soon to see him but next I heard he was at Long Island, then at Boston, and next at Northampton.

Then one morning all on a Sudden, about 8 or 9 o’clock there came a messenger and said Mr. Whitefield preached at Hartford and Weathersfield yesterday and is to preach at Middletown this morning [October 23, 1740] at ten of the Clock. I was in my field at Work. I dropt my tool that I had in my hand and ran home and run through my house and bade my wife get ready quick to go and hear Mr. Whitefield preach at Middletown, and run to my pasture for my horse with all my might fearing that I should be too late to hear him.

I brought my horse home and soon mounted and took my wife up and went forward as fast as I thought the horse could bear, and when my horse began to be out of breath, I would get down and put my wife on the Saddle and bid her ride as fast as she could and not Stop or Slack for me except I bad her, and so I would run until I was much out of breath, and then mount my horse again, and so I did several times to favour my horse Read More

The missionary’s wife and the “Veggie tale”!

Marvin and Jewell were a missionary couple who were working in Uganda. (Story was first posted in Feb 2013) Every week they sent updates on their progress with evangelism in the community or the growth of the local church and new orphanage that they are setting up. Some times there were moments of deep heart ache (especially when the gospel was rejected) but nothing  lightened up my heart with a good old laugh than this particular week’s ‘veggie tale’. Apparently not every thing that is green and leafy is lettuce:

marijuana-bag-1209The Mistake –  (Jewell writing)  While at the trading center on Saturday, I saw two ladies sitting on the veranda of a little restaurant with bags of green leaves for sale.  The leaves were a lovely shade of green, and I thought I should buy some of them and take them back for our orphan children to eat.  I asked the ladies how much one bag would cost, and they replied,  “It is seven hundred shillings.”  That seemed a little high to me for greens so I went into the little restaurant and gave out some more tracts and asked the owner (who happened to be a lady that I knew quite well) how much a little bag should cost.  She said that 700 shillings was the usual price.  So I went back outside and started digging in my purse for the money.  I was going to buy 7 bags to take home so there would be enough for all of the children to enjoy.  As I was digging in my purse, the lady inside the restaurant called out, “Who are you buying that for?”  I replied that I wanted to take it back for the children at home.  “What children?” she asked. …Read More!

A Dummy’s Guide to Calvinism

The Crucifixion- Matthias Grunewald (1470-1528)

Is there a God? Is He sitting some where twiddling His thumbs or biting His finger nails as the world spirals into debauchery? Ever fancied taking a peek over His shoulder and catching Him taking a cat nap or slumped over in a yoga- pose with legs helplessly inter twined?  Calvinism is associated with Reformed Theology the Theological system associated with the Reformer John Calvin that emphasizes and underlines the vitally important truth that God  is in control of all things, not man; that God is the source of salvation; and that men and women can do nothing to save themselves. It emphasises our total dependence as guilty sinners on the mercy and grace of God for salvation. The Father chose a people, the Son died for them, the Holy Spirit makes Christ’s death effective by bringing the elect to faith and repentance, thereby causing them to willingly obey the gospel. The entire process (election, redemption, regeneration) is the work of God and is by grace alone. Thus God, not man, determines who will be the recipients of the gift of salvation. Read More

To be born again – a Regenerate.

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What is conversion to Christ? How does one become born again? To answer these very vital questions here is an excerpt from a book I am currently reading by John Caldwell:

Conversion to Christ is not turning over a new leaf; it is the implanting of new life. This new life is the very life of God, Jesus referred to it as the new birth. Regarding the new birth, RC Sproul says, ‘The term born again is a popular synonym for the theological term regenerate .’ There are two essential things we need to understand about regeneration: the first one is that regeneration is how someone becomes a Christian.
If a person has not experienced regeneration, they are not a Christian. Jesus put it in the following terms while discussing the issue with the Pharisee Nicodemus: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) The second essential thing we need to understand about regeneration is that only God can produce the rebirth in a person’s life. …Read More!

Even in death -Christians do not lose sight of what is important.

Talking of Christian Eulogies -Watch Monty Williams, the 44-year-old associate head coach for the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team, bring the gospel to bear on the “loss” of his beloved wife, Ingrid:

For a reflection on Williams’ remarks, see Marshall Segal’s “What Would You Say If Your Wife Was Ripped Away?

May the Lord make each of us more like this man: even when hurt and in deep pain, he is fixed on God-centered hope, with an eternal perspective, freely offering forgiveness and freed from bitterness and complaint.

HT: Gospel Coalition.

Picture two Jews on the night of the first Passover

Whatever you do, spare atleast 3 minutes and 28 seconds today, and watch a wonderful and powerful illustration from Don Carson at the recent Bethlehem College & Seminary Pastors Conference:
HT: The Gospel Coalition.

Seven (7) things your church should not do in missions

The Great Commission is a clear command of Jesus to his church. By and large, part of what it means to be an evangelical church is to support the spread of the gospel to those who have never heard it. Based on decades of experience on the other side of the equation (Zane Pratt as a field worker living overseas), has a list of 7 things your church should NOT do as it considers its involvement in fulfilling the Great Commission:

church1. You should not ignore the missionary imperative.
Lots of excuses can be given for doing nothing about global missions other than, perhaps, an occasional missions offering. Taking the gospel to the unreached is expensive, uncomfortable, inconvenient, and sometimes even unhealthy or dangerous. There are so many lost people right around you where you live. You have so many needs within your own church. The list could go on. …Read More!

Spearheading the gospel into unreached regions is risky BUT…

Spearheading the gospel into unreached regions is risky says church planter and missionary David Sitton. You see…

david sittonIn the time it takes to read this blog post, another Christian will be killed because of his or her faith in Jesus Christ. 160,000 believers around the world will be slaughtered this year alone. . . simply because they love Jesus.

This should not be a news flash. The physical risk of “going public with the glory of God” among Satan-dominated peoples is obvious. Jesus warned his disciples that they would probably be “chugged” (disposed of quickly and without pause), just as lions chomp through lambs (Matthew 10:16; 1 Peter 5:8). That is the likely reality of identifying with Jesus in this world; and most shrivel up at the thought.

However, Scripture describes the butchering of believers as horrifically beautiful. Horrible because of the indescribable torment endured by so many; but stunningly beautiful in their humble Christ-likeness as they are afflicted, persecuted, struck down; but not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:7-12). As one Chinese Christian martyr confidently testified to his tormentors, “You can kill me, but you can’t hurt me and you can’t stop my testimony!” When Jesus followers are crushed by suffering, the aroma of Christ stretches out even more widely and rapidly among the peoples (2 Corinthians 2:14-16; Acts 8:1). …Read More!

J.I Packer: In his own words [Video]

Who is J. I. Packer?

He once described himself as “English by birth, Canadian by choice, Christian by conversion, and Calvinist by conviction, I speak as an evangelical who finds his home in the worldwide Anglican church family.”

Note in particular Dr. Packer’s moving closing words, when asked how he would like to be remembered: …Read More!

Why do missionaries check on Sparrows every morning?

Many missionaries learn of God’s wonderful providence in times of difficulty and more so in financial difficulty. David Sitton shares in his free book on how to pray and support missionaries Warfare Prayer:

  Financial anxiety increases with the sudden drop of support. Every missionary has gotten the “Dear John” letter explaining why support is being discontinued. One such letter I received had a final check and a hand scribbled note explaining that it was no longer financially feasible to invest in the ministry, as the parking lot of the church building needed re-paving.
My missionary mentor, Joe Cannon, encouraged us during tough financial times by saying: “Check and see if the sparrows have eaten today. As long as they eat, we eat. When God quits feeding the sparrows, missionaries will become extinct.” How true that is. Yet, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Dependence upon God and his daily provision is a wonderful way to live. ~David Sitton

Luke 12:6-7: Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Seven ways to bless your missionaries…

blessing missionariesChrist has called us all to be part of His mission to reach the nations with the gospel. Justin Vander Ark of To Every Tribe has a great list of ways that the body of Christ in the local church can support their missionaries.  Here are just seven ways out of ten that were featured in the free mission Ekballo Magazine:

1 . Pray
If you don’t do anything else on the list, please do this. Prayer is a weapon of warfare that God has given to His saints. If you don’t know how to pray for your missionaries, download David Sitton’s free ebook Warfare Prayer and read it. Don’t worry, it’s a quick read. Or, simply ask your missionaries how you can specifically pray for them.
2. Give
Almost every missionary I know is below their monthly support goal and have to spend precious time and resources on support-raising. Partnering with your missionaries financially is one of the most direct ways you can bless them.
3 . Send
More missionaries are needed. With thousands of unreached people groups remaining in the world, the need is great. Join with your local church in sending more missionaries to get trained and sent out into the world.
4 . Mail
Missionaries love getting mail. Send spontaneous cards of encouragement that let them know you are praying for them. Remember their birthdays, anniversaries, special occasions, and holidays. And,who doesn’t like getting packages in the mail? Missionaries love getting care packages. …Read More!

Unlikely converts: A Former Lesbian Professor’s Journey to Faith

Interesting testimony of Professor Butterfield :

As a tenured lesbian professor at Syracuse University, Dr. Butterfield had no desire to become part of the heterosexist, patriarchal culture that she perceived to be the identity of Christianity. …Read More!

Free morning and evening Spurgeon devotional Ebook 

If you like Spurgeon you will like this Morning and Evening devotional [pdf]…

A wealth of Biblical meditations from Spurgeon with applications that are relevant for contemporary Christians. Spurgeon’s characteristically pithy comments hit home with a wit and elegance rarely found in other writing. Christians young and old will find his words challenging and stimulating.

HT to Twenty of the best daily Devotionals by Word + Life.

The role of Music in Worship…

Talking about the the controversial topic of music in worship here is an interesting video (38 minutes) of good Christian discussion on this often misunderstood topic. 

ISIS: What can wash away my sin?

At a time muslim fanatics pride themselves in treating Christians and all others as inhumanely as they individually feel, I know there must still be a gleamer of a restless conscience among some Muslims. What can take away the guilt of murder? What can absolve any one of such sin and shame? The words of that good old Christian hymn says it all:

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus. Read more of this post

New Video: Through the Eyes of Spurgeon

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There is a new free video out about the life of the man, Charles Spurgeon, who loved the Lord Jesus Christ and loved to preach and proclaim the gospel. …See More!

Brandon Lucas: Why I am now a Calvinist.

regretsThis interesting post has been reblogged from Monergism:

Almost a decade ago I was involved in a titanic spiritual battle between two opposing theological views. I could feel the once rock solid doctrines of free will slipping through my fingers like fine sand. I begged and beseeched the Lord to deliver me from the relentless reasonings and scriptural bombshells ripping the house I had built on the shifting dunes of man-centered doctrines. My pride and self-respect were on the line.

See, for the first decade of my born-again life I embraced a form of Arminianism that many call Semi-Pelagianism. Simply put, I believed that man’s free will is the deciding factor in salvation. Calvinism, which is the belief that God is sovereign over all things, including man’s salvation, had recently started making sense to me and I was drawn to it. (While at the same time being repulsed by it).

Calvinism was a dirty word in my old church. I considered it to be on equal footing with cultic beliefs.

I used to say such things as:

“Calvinism is a doctrine of demons!”

Or worse yet:

“If God is like how the Calvinists describe him, I would never serve such a cruel, heartless dictator who arbitrarily chooses who will and will not be saved!”

…Read More!

A poem for CHRISTIANS who have lost all their livelihood to ISIS and jihadists

IMG_4991.JPG When we read of persecution and hear of despicable things being done to Christian fathers, mothers and children by people filled with hatred and violence we should remember this was similar to the times of Habakkuk in the time of the Babylonian invasion. At a time when Habakkuk reports his belly trembled with fear, his lips quivered and he felt rottenness in his bones in the day of trouble. Yet his encouragement came from putting his trust in the one True God.
Consider this an encouragement and a poem to all those who have lost everything or are on the verge of losing everything to ISIS OR BOKO HARAM ….

…Read More!

Monergism opens free Reformed Christian ebook store!

For some this may not be new but I just want to repost this bit of information. The website Monergism is a good site to get free ebooks of invaluable wealth especially if you would like books on evangelism, basic Christianity, biographies and Reformed Theology. Check the link Here!

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Kirk shares the gospel with a pastor’s daughter.

This clip is self self explanatory. Kirk Cameron has a chat with a lady who happens to be a pastor’s daughter…

What can the church in the West learn from the church in Africa?

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This is an excerpt from a Table Talk (TT) magazine interview with an African pastor (Conrad Mbewe) of Kabwata Baptist Church in Zambia…

TT: What are two important lessons that Western Christians can learn from the African church?

CM: Western civilization has lost a lot of its interpersonal virtues. It has become overly individualized—if you see what I mean. Issues like hospitality, respect for authority and the elderly, being more people-conscious than time-conscious, and so on are largely lost. This has affected not only the society generally but Christians as well.

Western Christians have filled their lives with too many things (toys?) that have robbed them of eternal perspectives. Electronic gadgets, holidays, sports, recreation, and so on have almost become idols. Even church must be about having fun.

…Read More!

Pleading with Africa’s unreached to come, come to Christ!

Reaching Africa’s Unreached (R.A.U) has been relentlessly preaching, pleading and imploring the heathens in Northern Western Uganda plus refugees from Southern Sudan to be reconciled with God. The message is the same every day …Come to Christ:

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor 5:20-21)

20140427-080931.jpg Jacob Lee of Reaching Africa’s Unreached at one of their preaching points in Moyo, Uganda.
Follow R.A.U on Facebook here.
Visit R.A.U online here.

Whoa! This guy bleeds the gospel!

Listen to this clip….
Dr Steve Lawson and Todd Friel. …Read more!